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Business of the Strategy and Finance Committee 2016 (open session)

UCU Congress 2016: Wednesday a June 2016, 10:15-12:30 (open session)

Motions have been allocated to a section of the NEC's report to Congress (UCU712). Paragraph headings refer to paragraphs within this report. CBC has added some new paragraph headings to facilitate the ordering of motions.

Section 1 of the NEC's report to Congress

Motions:

1 - Trade Union Bill
2 - Trade Union Act 2016
3 - The Trade Union Bill
4 - UCU's international campaigns and solidarity work 
5  - Treatment of international staff and students
6 - Solidarity with academics and teachers in Turkey
7 - Academic and political freedom in Turkey
8 - Campaign for justice for the murder of Giulio Regeni
9 - Palestine, UCU policy, and Israel's propaganda offensive
10 - Scholarships for Palestinian and Syrian students
11 - Don't bomb Syria 
12 - Refugees
13 - Trade Unionists 4 Calais solidarity visits: UCU summer school
14  - Stand UP to racism, islamophobia, anti-semitism and fascism
15 - Humanitarian support for refugees
16 - Climate change and the Paris Agreement
17 - Combatting climate change
18 - Divestment
19 - Education for Sustainable Development and Greening the Curriculum
20 - Improving our organisation for health, safety and welfare at work
21 - Solidarity with the Shrewsbury 24 campaign
L2 - Defend Palestinian academics
L4 - Emergency in the jungle - solidarity with Calais

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy


The Trade Union Bill, paragraph 3.1


1 Trade union bill - West Midlands Regional Committee

Congress welcomes the TUC Congress 2015 motion on the Tory government's trade union bill.

The bill attempts to 'constrain democratic and political opposition to the austerity programme' and 'to outlaw legitimate protest, stifle free speech and choke off the resources of political opponents' to the government.

Congress welcomes the TUC commitment to:

  1. a broad, militant and imaginative campaign
  2. give maximum possible political, industrial and financial support to trade unions
  3. build a mass movement to defeat these laws
  4. a co-ordinated national day of action.

Congress believes that the bill is an attempt by the government to prevent workers defending their hard-won gains as they are made to pay for a crisis of capitalism they did not cause.

However, Congress believes that the TUC failure to plan and campaign for a national one-day general strike against the bill deprives our movement of one of its most potent weapons.

Carried as amended

1A.1 London Regional Committee

Add at end: 'Congress resolves: in the circumstance of the trade union bill becoming law to support any group of workers who take industrial action in defiance of these new laws.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Congress welcomes the TUC Congress 2015 motion on the Tory government's trade union bill.

The bill attempts to 'constrain democratic and political opposition to the austerity programme' and 'to outlaw legitimate protest, stifle free speech and choke off the resources of political opponents' to the government.

Congress welcomes the TUC commitment to:

  1. a broad, militant and imaginative campaign
  2. give maximum possible political, industrial and financial support to trade unions
  3. build a mass movement to defeat these laws
  4. a co-ordinated national day of action.

Congress believes that the Bill is an attempt by the government to prevent workers defending their hard-won gains as they are made to pay for a crisis of capitalism they did not cause.

However, Congress believes that the TUC failure to plan and campaign for a national one-day general strike against the bill deprives our movement of one of its most potent weapons.

Congress resolves: in the circumstance of the trade union bill becoming law to support any group of workers who take industrial action in defiance of these new laws.


2 Trade Union Act 2016 - National Executive Committee

Congress pays tribute to the TUC-led campaign against the Trade Union Bill, including the hard work done by UCU staff, all of which resulted in the government having to make significant concessions from its original plans. However, the Trade Union Act 2016 will still be a vicious piece of anti-union legislation.

Congress recognises that such laws have been defeated before by unified mass industrial action and that this Act can also be defeated providing the conditions for such action are created.

It is therefore vital that workers taking action to defend jobs, pay and terms and conditions, and thereby finding themselves outside the law, receive full practical solidarity from this union and its members, and that a new generation of activists is developed who have a clear understanding of the legislation, but are able to inspire confidence, mobilise support and lead struggles which render the law ineffective.

Carried


3 Composite: The trade union bill - University of Hertfordshire, East Midlands Regional Committee, Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. the trade union bill is one of the most vicious and determined attacks on trade unions for a generation
  2. the TUC has policy to consider 'generalised strikes' against the bill and to defend unions that find themselves 'outside the law'
  3. Jeremy Corbyn has said a Labour government will repeal the bill.

Congress believes:

We can't just wait until 2020.

The movement must defy these new anti-union laws.

Congress resolves to ask the NEC to:

  1. work with the TUC to oppose the bill and call for TUC policy to be turned into action
  2. call on councils, the Scottish government, Welsh Assembly and other elected bodies to refuse to implement the provisions of the bill, guarantee existing facility time and affirm they will never use any of the bill's measures against strikers or use agency workers during strikes
  3. work with other unions, reps and activists to build a movement of defiance against this anti-union legislation.

Carried as amended

3A.1 Southern Regional Committee

Add at end: 'Furthermore, Congress notes that this Bill is a continuation of Tory aspirations to destroy the Trade Union Movement. Congress deplores the failure of previous Labour Governments to repeal the anti-trade union laws. Congress instructs the NEC to seek a firm commitment from the current Labour leadership to repeal all of the anti-trade union legislation on achieving election to government. The NEC is instructed to report back to each Congress on progress towards reaching this goal.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. the trade union bill is one of the most vicious and determined attacks on trade unions for a generation
  2. the TUC has policy to consider 'generalised strikes' against the bill and to defend unions that find themselves 'outside the law'
  3. Jeremy Corbyn has said a Labour government will repeal the bill.

Congress believes:

We can't just wait until 2020.

The movement must defy these new anti-union laws.

Congress resolves to ask the NEC to:

  1. work with the TUC to oppose the bill and call for TUC policy to be turned into action
  2. call on councils, the Scottish government, Welsh Assembly and other elected bodies to refuse to implement the provisions of the Bill, guarantee existing facility time and affirm they will never use any of the bill's measures against strikers or use agency workers during strikes
  3. work with other unions, reps and activists to build a movement of defiance against this anti-union legislation.

Furthermore, Congress notes that this Bill is a continuation of Tory aspirations to destroy the trade union movement. Congress deplores the failure of previous Labour governments to repeal the anti-trade union laws. Congress instructs the NEC to seek a firm commitment from the current Labour leadership to repeal all of the anti-trade union legislation on achieving election to government. The NEC is instructed to report back to each Congress on progress towards reaching this goal.


European and international work, paragraph 5.1


4 (EP) UCU's international campaigns and solidarity work - National Executive Committee

Congress recognises the increasingly international character of the UK higher and further education system and the value of an international dimension to UCU's work.

Working in conjunction with EI, TUC and affiliated solidarity organisations, Congress welcomes UCU's international campaigns and activities to:

  1. support the right to education, particularly for women and refugees, and the rights of education workers worldwide;
  2. facilitate information exchange, capacity-building and mutual solidarity between sister unions overseas;
  3. support a global response to the privatisation and marketisation of public education, including the threats posed by global education corporations and new trade and investment agreements such as TTIP, CETA and TiSA;
  4. defend academic freedom and academics under threat;
  5. monitor the education policies of inter-governmental organisations such as the OECD and UNESCO.

Congress calls on UCU to publicise these activities to members and to seek to engage regions, branches and members in relevant international work.

Carried


5 Treatment of international staff and students - National Executive Committee

Congress deplores current government policy towards international staff and students, notes the insecurity of current EU staff and students and reaffirms UCU policy that international staff and students are an important and very welcome part of post-16 education.

Congress instructs NEC to:

  1. survey members and branches on the experiences and treatment of international and EU staff and students, including any discrimination and institutions going beyond government requirements
  2. name and shame institutions
  3. publicise any good practice
  4. produce guidelines for branches for negotiations at local level
  5. make suggestions to HEC and FEC for negotiating national agreements
  6. organise local and national media campaign, highlighting the value of international student and staff
  7. campaign with other trade unions, NUS and community groups for the overthrow of restrictive legislation which affects international students and staff and no change in the immigration status of EU residents if UK leaves EU.

Carried


International solidarity, paragraph 5.4


6 Composite: Solidarity with academics and teachers in Turkey - National Executive Committee, London Retired Members' Branch

Congress condemns the widespread attacks by the Turkish government, the Council of Higher Education in Turkey and university leaders on the 1128 academic signatories of the 'Academics for Peace' statement. These attacks include investigations by the public prosecutor and both suspension and dismissal from their university posts.

Congress also condemns the ongoing attacks on trade unionists in Turkey, including on our sister union, Egitim-Sen.

We note the Turkish government has declared academics who have expressed opinions contrary to security policies of the government, as 'traitors' and 'terrorists without weapons' and is disciplining, arresting and detaining them, particularly the signatories of the 'Academics for Peace' petition. We believe that this attack on our Turkish colleagues is of a piece with the brutal military campaign against the Kurdish people.

Congress calls on the Turkish Government:

  1. to protect free expression and academic freedom by ending all measures to penalise signatories of the petition, and to ensure signatories are protected against public threats of bodily harm that have been made against them
  2. to ensure freedom of association for trade unions
  3. to end state violence in the Kurdish regions and work towards a sustainable peace process with the Kurds.

Congress therefore:

  1. expresses its solidarity with the signatories of 'Academics for Peace' and our colleagues in Egitim-Sen
  2. demands the release of all Turkish academics, journalists and labour activists imprisoned for opposing the government's security policies
  3. demands that opponents of the regime be offered political asylum in the UK if forced to flee
  4. expresses its opposition to the Turkish government's military campaign against the Kurdish people
  5. condemns the close relationship between the UK government and the Erdogan regime
  6. requests the NEC to formulate practical steps to implement these policies.

Carried as amended

6A.1 SOAS

Add after 'policies' at the end of section f. of the motion:

', including:

  1. solidarity protests across UK universities
  2. sending observers to Turkey to monitor and report on the trial(s) of signatories
  3. protest letters to the Turkish Embassy supporting signatories on trial
  4. protest letters to Turkish Universities who have taken disciplinary action against or sacked signatories
  5. encouraging UK universities to freeze agreements with Turkish universities taking action against signatories.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Congress condemns the widespread attacks by the Turkish government, the Council of Higher Education in Turkey and university leaders on the 1128 academic signatories of the 'Academics for Peace' statement. These attacks include investigations by the public prosecutor and both suspension and dismissal from their university posts.

Congress also condemns the ongoing attacks on trade unionists in Turkey, including on our sister union, Egitim-Sen.

We note the Turkish government has declared academics who have expressed opinions contrary to security policies of the government, as 'traitors' and 'terrorists without weapons' and is disciplining, arresting and detaining them, particularly the signatories of the 'Academics for Peace' petition. We believe that this attack on our Turkish colleagues is of a piece with the brutal military campaign against the Kurdish people.

Congress calls on the Turkish Government:

  1. to protect free expression and academic freedom by ending all measures to penalise signatories of the petition, and to ensure signatories are protected against public threats of bodily harm that have been made against them
  2. to ensure freedom of association for trade unions
  3. to end state violence in the Kurdish regions and work towards a sustainable peace process with the Kurds.

Congress therefore:

  1. expresses its solidarity with the signatories of 'Academics for Peace' and our colleagues in Egitim-Sen
  2. demands the release of all Turkish academics, journalists and labour activists imprisoned for opposing the government's security policies
  3. demands that opponents of the regime be offered political asylum in the UK if forced to flee
  4. expresses its opposition to the Turkish government's military campaign against the Kurdish people
  5. condemns the close relationship between the UK government and the Erdogan regime
  6. requests the NEC to formulate practical steps to implement these policies, including:
    i. solidarity protests across UK universities
    ii. sending observers to Turkey to monitor and report on the trial(s) of signatories
    iii. protest letters to the Turkish Embassy supporting signatories on trial
    iv. protest letters to Turkish Universities who have taken disciplinary action against or sacked signatories
    v. encouraging UK universities to freeze agreements with Turkish universities taking action against signatories.

7 Academic and political freedom in Turkey - University College London

Congress notes the deteriorating political situation in Turkey. Following the Ankara bombing on 13 March 2016, the Prime Minister redefined 'terrorism' to include the expression of views that could be construed as supporting it - a redefinition that has lead to the seizure of newspapers critical of the government and arrests of journalists and academics. [1]

Congress:

  1. calls for the immediate release and withdrawal of charges against Chris Stephenson, a computer science lecturer at Bilgi University in Turkey who was detained on 15 March while attending a police station in support of three fellow academics arrested for signing an open letter criticising the Turkish state's military operations in the South-East of Turkey. [2]
  2. condemns this latest attack on academic and political freedom in Turkey, and calls on the British government to use its influence to secure the release of academics and journalists in Turkey held or imprisoned for their beliefs.

Notes
[1] http://bit.ly/1SaVLcu
[2] http://bit.ly/1S2lnLt

Carried


8 Composite: Campaign for justice for the murder of Giulio Regeni - University of Cambridge, UCU Scotland Executive

Congress condemns the torture and murder by the Egyptian authorities [drafting amendment: deleted] of Italian national and Cambridge-based PhD student Giulio Regeni during his fieldwork in Egypt, which was received with shock and condemnation by academics and trade unionists across the globe.

His killing represents a direct attack on the academic community and the values and freedoms we stand for, and on the trade union movement as a whole. It is appalling that speaking truth to power and exercising our human right to organisation remains a dangerous and high risk undertaking in some parts of the world.

Congress further notes that according to international and Egyptian human rights organisations, Giulio's murder took place in a context where the security forces make regular use of torture and forced disappearances are common, with many of those who vanish eventually reappearing in police custody.

Congress believes that the trade union movement and the global academic community have a crucial role to play in ensuring that these abuses are not forgotten.

Congress instructs the NEC to:

  1. work with Amnesty International, the organisers of the Open Letter on Giulio's murder, and the trade unions to build a campaign for justice for Giulio and all of Egypt's disappeared
  2. publicly condemn Giulio Regeni's killing, and reaffirm our internationalist commitment to support the fight for recognition of academic and human rights across the world
  3. call on the UK, Italian and Egyptian governments to conduct a full investigation into his killing, and to hold those guilty to account
  4. oppose all attacks upon the academic community, and the wider trade union and labour movement as a whole.

Carried


The General Secretary has asked CBC to draw Congress delegates' attention to motion 9 and its amendments.

In its unamended form the motion seeks to commit the union to support for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. The union has received legal advice from leading counsel that it would be unlawful for the union to call for or support such a boycott. Past motions on this subject have been passed by Congress but then on legal advice have been declared void and of no effect. In order to protect the interests of the union and its Trustees, the same declaration will be made again should the motion be passed with the boycott reference remaining.

Delegates should note that UCU can support only those aspects of the BDS campaign which it can lawfully implement, such as, for example, urging members not to buy goods produced in the Israeli occupied territories (which is TUC policy). It cannot support the academic and cultural boycott element of BDS. Any reference to UCU support for BDS must be clearly understood and operated within that legal limitation.

9 Palestine, UCU policy, and Israel's propaganda offensive - University of Brighton, Grand Parade

Congress notes:

  1. government guidance deterring local authority boycotts of unethical companies;
  2. 'counter-radicalisation' to prevent campus criticism of Israel, and boycott of complicit institutions
  3. orchestrated conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
  4. the drive by Israel to access UK campuses for state propaganda via faux debates with selected critics
  5. escalating legal threats and diplomatic pressure to intimidate Israel's critics: including UCU Congress votes for BDS (2010), non-conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism (2011), and against contact with Histadrut (2010).

Congress believes

  1. BDS responds to Western governments' failure to hold Israel accountable for war crimes and international law violations
  2. scholars have a duty to ensure voices of the oppressed are not silenced on campuses.

Congress

  1. reaffirms its support for BDS, and for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions
  2. requires union officers to uphold Congress decisions when acting in their UCU capacity, and to resile from such external positions as create conflicts of interest.

Carried unamended - declared void and of no effect due to legal advice

9A.1 National Executive Committee

Delete ', and for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions' from Congress believes i.

Lost

9A.2 National Executive Committee

Delete ', and to resile from such external positions as create conflicts of interest' from Congress believes ii.

Lost


10 Scholarships for Palestinian and Syrian students - National Executive Committee

Congress welcomes the establishment by the STUC, with the support of UCU Scotland, of the Scottish Universities Supporting Palestinian Students (SUSPS) scheme, as well as similar, long-established fee waiver schemes at other UK universities.

Congress also welcomes UK-funded initiatives, such as the scholarships provided through the Friends of Birzeit University, to enable Palestinian students to access higher education in Palestine.

Congress also welcomes recent initiatives by a number of UK universities to provide humanitarian scholarships for Syrian refugee students to study in the UK and calls for additional public funding for these schemes.

Congress calls on UCU, nationally and locally, to help promote and extend these important scholarship initiatives.

Carried


11 Don't bomb Syria - Lambeth College

Congress recalls that Parliament voted last December to bomb Isis in Syria.

Congress believes that:

  1. Isis is a reactionary organisation but more bombing will increase bitterness against the West
  2. the 'War on Terror' brought destruction to Afghanistan and Iraq and destabilised the Middle East and parts of Africa. The 2011 intervention in Libya increased the killing and led to Islamist radicalisation
  3. western allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have no interest in democracy. Saudi Arabia beheads more people than Isis and the two countries support Jihadi groups in Syria
  4. if the West is concerned with terrorism, they shouldn't arm these regimes.

Congress notes that Cameron is committing billions to war while cutting public services such as health and education.

Congress believes that:

  1. American, Russian, French and British warplanes aren't helping ordinary people in Syria;
  2. military escalation creates more resentment leading to more terrorism.

Carried


New paragraph, Refugees and standing up to racism


12 Refugees Leeds - Beckett University

Congress is appalled at the plight of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and other war-torn and devastated parts of the world, and condemns both the conditions which they are forced to endure in various camps, including at Calais and Dunkirk, and the failure of Cameron to allow more than a trickle of refugees, even unaccompanied children, to enter the UK.

Congress recognises that there has been a surge of practical support and solidarity for refugees including desperately needed collections of money, food and clothing and other necessities.

Congress resolves to call a national week of action in support of refugees and migrants to include collections at work, meetings and other forms of solidarity.

Congress resolves to forge direct links with the Calais and Dunkirk refugee camps and encourage UCU branches to organise delivery of materials and money to the camps.

Carried as amended

12A.1 National Executive Committee

Add after first paragraph:

'Congress also questions the moral and legal basis of the EU-Turkey "refugee swap", agreed in March 2016.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Congress is appalled at the plight of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and other war-torn and devastated parts of the world, and condemns both the conditions which they are forced to endure in various camps, including at Calais and Dunkirk, and the failure of Cameron to allow more than a trickle of refugees, even unaccompanied children, to enter the UK.

Congress also questions the moral and legal basis of the EU-Turkey "refugee swap", agreed in March 2016.

Congress recognises that there has been a surge of practical support and solidarity for refugees including desperately needed collections of money, food and clothing and other necessities.

Congress resolves to call a national week of action in support of refugees and migrants to include collections at work, meetings and other forms of solidarity.

Congress resolves to forge direct links with the Calais and Dunkirk refugee camps and encourage UCU branches to organise delivery of materials and money to the camps.


13 Trade Unionists 4 Calais solidarity visits: UCU summer school - National Executive Committee

Congress notes that:

  1. refugees living in the camps in Calais and Dunkirk are only two hundred miles from two cities, London and Paris, which are the capitals of the 9th and 10th richest countries in the world
  2. approximately 6000 human beings - including babies and children - are living in camps where the conditions are extremely dangerous and are not meeting basic human needs
  3. refugees flee war, poverty and violence.

Congress supports:

  1. organisations that condemn the conditions refugees are living in on the camps
  2. the call from Stand Up To Racism to trade unionists to take action that can support the refugees in Calais and Dunkirk.

Congress instructs NEC:

  1. to run a summer school in Calais in the summer of 2016
  2. to campaign for the UK government to act compassionately and to work with affiliates to support positive initiatives in support of refugees.

Remitted

13A.1 LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Before the paragraph beginning 'Congress supports:' add new paragraph:

'Congress recognises often unspoken and invisible diversity amongst refugees. Many LGBT+ people seek refuge because of harsh laws. Assumptions that people from some countries are all anti-LGBT is also repressive.'

After 'Congress instructs' point ii., add new bullet points:

'iii. engage with and support the work of Lesbian and Gays Support Migrants and others increasing the profile of diversity amongst refugees

iv. include equality and diversity, including LGBT+, issues in the summer school programme

v. promote the summer school in regions and branches.'

Carried


14 Stand UP to Racism, islamophobia, anti-semitism and fascism - refugees welcome - London Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. we are witnessing the biggest movement of people since the Second World War
  2. the government's response has been completely inadequate and has sought to demonise people who are fleeing war, poverty, and persecution
  3. Stand Up To Racism is a broad based campaign that seeks to challenge racism, Islamophobia and the scapegoating of migrants and refugees
  4. the United Nations day of action on the 19th of March
  5. the UCU/CLASS pamphlet 'Why immigration is good for us all'
  6. the visit by Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott MP to the Calais refugee camp.

Congress believes:

  1. the government's austerity measures pose a far greater threat to the public's standard of living than migrants and refugees
  2. UCU must campaign to make 'refugees welcome here' a reality.

Congress resolves to:

  1. affiliate to Stand Up To Racism
  2. encourage delegations and support for the migrant camp in Calais.

Carried as amended

14A.1 Composite: East Midlands Regional Committee, Croydon College

Amend bullet point i under 'Congress resolves' to read: 'i. Affiliate to Stand Up to Racism, support and encourage members to attend the Stand Up to Racism conference in October, and campaign to keep racism out of the EU referendum.'

Carried

14A.2 National Executive Committee

Add resolves iii:

'iii. To support the stand up to racism/people's assembly/trade union (CWU and Unite on publicity so far), refugee solidarity convoy to Calais on June 18th.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. we are witnessing the biggest movement of people since the Second World War
  2. the government's response has been completely inadequate and has sought to demonise people who are fleeing war, poverty, and persecution
  3. Stand Up To Racism is a broad based campaign that seeks to challenge racism, Islamophobia and the scapegoating of migrants and refugees
  4. the United Nations day of action on the 19th of March
  5. the UCU/CLASS pamphlet 'Why immigration is good for us all'
  6. the visit by Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott MP to the Calais refugee camp.

Congress believes:

  1. the government's austerity measures pose a far greater threat to the public's standard of living than migrants and refugees
  2. UCU must campaign to make 'refugees welcome here' a reality.

Congress resolves to:

  1. affiliate to Stand Up To Racism
  2. encourage delegations and support for the migrant camp in Calais
  3. affiliate to Stand Up to Racism, support and encourage members to attend the Stand Up to Racism conference in October, and campaign to keep racism out of the EU referendum
  4. to support the stand up to racism/people's assembly/trade union (CWU and Unite on publicity so far), refugee solidarity convoy to Calais on June 18th.

15 (EP) Humanitarian support for refugees - University of Glasgow

Congress deplores the humanitarian crisis, human rights violations and destruction of the human heritage, education, economic infrastructure and agriculture in those areas affected. Further, Congress would like to express support for the many local initiatives to help refugees integrate, for example the Glasgow-based 'Refuweegee' campaign, which provides welcome packs and written letters from locals for newly-arrived refugees.

Congress instructs NEC to put pressure on government and campaign with other broad based organisations to:

  1. provide urgent humanitarian assistance, (medical, water, shelter and education) to refugees seeking asylum
  2. welcome refugees and ensure they are given all appropriate support within the community
  3. Congress encourages branches and members to help publicise and support local initiatives where possible.

Carried


New paragraph, Environmental issues, before paragraph 7


16 (EP) Climate change and the Paris Agreement National Executive Committee

Congress believes that climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that we face. The UN Paris Agreement is an inadequate response to this challenge. Despite this, the obligation in the agreement to enhance climate change education, training and research provides an opportunity for the education sector.

Congress:

  1. recognises that our sectors have a central role to play in delivering the transition to a low carbon economy
  2. commends the development of a network of Environment representatives
  3. welcomes the joint work undertaken with the National Union of Students, People & Planet, the Greener Jobs Alliance, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and ShareAction.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. continue to work for a just transition to a low carbon economy
  2. as resources permit, continue working with others on the transition to a low carbon economy and divestment/responsible investment
  3. give a priority to developing relevant work on education and skills.

Carried


17 Combatting climate change - London Metropolitan University, City and North branches

Congress notes:

  1. the year on year rise of global average temperatures, which testifies to the extreme urgency of responding to climate change.
  2. despite the PM's grandstanding at the 2015 Paris climate conference the government has recklessly reversed climate policy in many key areas such as green investment and finance, renewable energy, housing and transport.
  3. while the FE and HE sectors have several centres of excellence with regard to ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) teaching and climate research the full potential of these sectors for combatting climate change and providing climate jobs remains untapped.

Congress resolves:

That with regard to 3. UCU devote additional financial and human resources to supporting and developing its network of green reps in the tertiary sector.

Carried as amended

17A.1 National Executive Committee

Add at end before full stop:

', with particular attention to encouraging the recruitment of, supporting and developing women, black and ethnic minority, disabled and LGBT+ green reps and green reps on casualised contracts'

Carried

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. the year on year rise of global average temperatures, which testifies to the extreme urgency of responding to climate change.
  2. despite the PM's grandstanding at the 2015 Paris climate conference the government has recklessly reversed climate policy in many key areas such as green investment and finance, renewable energy, housing and transport.
  3. while the FE and HE sectors have several centres of excellence with regard to ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) teaching and climate research the full potential of these sectors for combatting climate change and providing climate jobs remains untapped.

Congress resolves:

That with regard to 3. UCU devote additional financial and human resources to supporting and developing its network of green reps in the tertiary sector, with particular attention to encouraging the recruitment of, supporting and developing women, black and ethnic minority, disabled and LGBT+ green reps and green reps on casualised contracts.


18 Divestment - National Executive Committee

Congress recognises:

  1. the importance of divestment from fossil fuels as part of combatting climate change
  2. the importance of divestment by universities and colleges as large employers and potential opinion formers
  3. the valuable role of students unions with some support from UCU members in securing divestment in a few universities.

Congress instructs NEC to:

  1. produce resource materials to support members and branches engaging in divestment campaigns
  2. write to branches and members encouraging them to pass motions calling for their universities and colleges to divest
  3. work with students to campaign and put pressure on management to ensure they divest over a reasonable time span
  4. ensure that the divestment process is carried out in a way that does not disadvantage any members, for instance those researching fossil fuels.

Carried


19 Education for Sustainable Development and Greening the Curriculum - National Executive Committee

Congress recognises the great importance of education for sustainable development, including on environmental issues.

Congress instructs NEC to work with students and other environmental and sustainability campaigning organisations to:

  1. determine (e.g. by surveying members), and publicise the availability of, materials that can be used to support teaching on sustainable development
  2. produce draft motions and supporting materials on environmental education and education for sustainable development, including the development of institutional policies, which can be used by branches
  3. encourage branches together with students to put pressure on institutions to develop policies supporting environmental education and education for sustainable development
  4. publicise details of good practice.

Carried


New paragraph, Health and safety


20 Improving our organisation for health, safety and welfare at work - University of Liverpool

Health, safety and welfare at work is a major issue for our members, and work-related stress and its associated psychosocial risks are a primary cause of both mental and physical ill-health.

Congress believes that UCU needs to develop more effective workplace organisation and activity to reduce the toll of ill health created by employers.

Congress recognises that the range of statutory functions given to trade union safety representatives by the Safety Representatives & Safety Committees Regulations, and the open-ended duties imposed on employers to permit time-off and to provide facilities and assistance to support those functions, make them the most powerful of any workplace representative.

Congress therefore calls on UCU to institute as a matter of urgency a campaign and educational and organisational programmes to increase the numbers of safety representatives in branches and LAs, and prioritise our local organisation for health and safety using the opportunities presented by the regulations.

Carried

20A.1 National Executive Committee

Add at end:

'This campaign should pay particular attention to recruiting, supporting and developing women, black and ethnic minority, disabled and LGBT+ health and safety (H&S) reps on casualised contracts and campaigning on the particular H&S issues they face'.

Carried

Subtsantive motion

Health, safety and welfare at work is a major issue for our members, and work-related stress and its associated psychosocial risks are a primary cause of both mental and physical ill-health.

Congress believes that UCU needs to develop more effective workplace organisation and activity to reduce the toll of ill health created by employers.

Congress recognises that the range of statutory functions given to trade union safety representatives by the Safety Representatives & Safety Committees Regulations, and the open-ended duties imposed on employers to permit time-off and to provide facilities and assistance to support those functions, make them the most powerful of any workplace representative.

Congress therefore calls on UCU to institute as a matter of urgency a campaign and educational and organisational programmes to increase the numbers of safety representatives in branches and LAs, and prioritise our local organisation for health and safety using the opportunities presented by the regulations.

This campaign should pay particular attention to recruiting, supporting and developing women, black and ethnic minority, disabled and LGBT+ health and safety (H&S) reps on casualised contracts and campaigning on the particular H&S issues they face.


New paragraph, Other matters


21 Solidarity with the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign - Sheffield Hallam University

In light of the TUC Congress resolution of 2007, which recognised the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the Shrewsbury pickets was politically motivated and biased, this union deplores the continued failure by Government to act upon calls for a Parliamentary inquiry. We recognise and commend the official Shrewsbury 24 campaign for its accomplishments in significantly raising the profile of the gross miscarriage of justice in the Shrewsbury 24 case and its escalated campaign work to expose government interference with the judicial process and clear the names of all concerned. In support of the official Shrewsbury 24 campaign, UCU Sheffield Hallam instructs the NEC to:

  1. affiliate at national level to the official campaign group, alongside the many trade unions, branches and trades councils who have already pledged their support (www.shrewsbury24campaign.org.uk).
  2. highlight the campaign via the union national website so that branches may also consider local affiliation.

Carried


L2 Defend Palestinian academics 

Congress notes with dismay that:

  1. renowned Palestinian astrophysicist Professor Imad al-Barghouthi has been arrested and put in administrative detention for the second time; his release has been cancelled and he now faces trial.
  2. Omar Barghouthi, a founder of the BDS movement and graduate of Tel Aviv University, has had an effective travel ban placed on him, widely seen as a step towards revoking his residency rights, as Israeli ministers recently threatened.

Congress condemns these fundamental breaches of human rights, instructs the general secretary to raise these matters urgently with the FCO and the Israeli Embassy, and agrees to circulate the call by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network* to all members, asking them to write to MPs and the Israeli embassy calling for Prof. al-Barghouthi to be released immediately. 

Congress further instructs the general secretary to call on the Israeli authorities to end the use of administrative detention.

Carried


L4 Emergency in the jungle - solidarity with Calais

Congress notes:

  1. that fires broke out in the 'jungle' refugee camp on the night of 26 May - leaving hundreds of refugees without shelter
  2. the situation in the camp is now critical due to a lack of fresh food
  3. emergency donations are needed of camping equipment, fire extinguishers and food and money
  4. the convoy of aid and solidarity on 18 June by many organisations and unions.

Congress resolves:

  1. to offer aid (£500) and support by collecting.

Congress instructs NEC:

  1. to sponsor the convoy and urge branches to attend, support, collect and donate.

Carried

Last updated: 1 February 2017